Welcome to Wednesday.
A day of remembrance. It’s been 20 years since the passing of Rocky Rocastle. A player that no doubt would have thrived in the current setup we’re building, who still holds a special place in the hearts of Arsenal fans all around the world.
I don’t have sharp enough memories of him to give a full run down, I just remember my dad being absolutely gutted when he left the club under George Graham. The fact he cried tells you all you need to know about the player and the man (Rocastle, and probs my dad).
Quite touching that our current number 7, hoping to emulate his impact, is out here honouring Rocastle today.
The Athletic has run a piece about fan happiness up and down the country. The data looks a bit wonky on the Arsenal front, but the overall picture is Arsenal fans are very happy with the entertainment value of the football, and a bit above meh on the Arteta being the coach next season.
What grinds me are the people that are standards merchants ‘HAPPY WITH 10TH’, like the table is literally the only thing that Arsenal fans are looking at.
No one is happy with 10th, I can assure you. But what most Arsenal fans can now see is that things are moving forward, old problems are being addressed, and something resembling sexy football is starting to emerge.
If you accept that mediocrity and a lack of ambition crashed us over 10 years, then you have accept that in the real world, building back to elite was always going to take longer than 12 months… and ideally, if you were undertaking that, you’d prefer to do it without a pandemic.
Time is a reward for people doing a good job. Emery did not do a good job. He was not respected, he couldn’t communicate, and things were as bad behind the scenes as they were on the pitch. There’s no world where more time for him was leading somewhere positive.
Back to the STANDARDS folk. Calling fans out for having a bit of vision about where we’re going is football flat-earthing. If the only way you can understand progress is the table, you’re missing out on a whole lot of nuance… particularly right now.
Happiness is not a single metric, never has been, never will be. Emery’s 22 game unbeaten run was not happiness if you knew what you were looking at. Wenger reaching 2nd in 2016 was not a celebration. Klopp crashing Dortmund was not the imminent decline of his powers at the top of the game. 10th in the table isn’t reflective of where we’ll place next season, I can assure you of that.
The injury scene is looking fairly decent… the main worry was around the fitness of Smith Rowe. That’ll be bad news if he’s injured… the hope is that, like a few of the kids, he’s managing his body well and the absence is precautionary. Losing one of your stars to the misery that is Aidy Bothroyd really would be a sorry state of affairs.
Short one today, normally blogging will commence soon… and there should be a podcast tomorrow.
See you in the comments.